Monday, February 02, 2009

New Purchases for a Growing Family

Anyone out there who’s so much as gone on a long excursion, knows the value of good luggage sets. With a family, you can multiply that by the number of people in your brood. Generally, we go camping once or twice a summer, that’s about all the budget will allow most years. But still, that’s two or three days out in the woods, with need of changes of clothes twice a day and the extra set in case the elements aren’t exactly what the weather forecaster claimed – and let’s face it, how often is he right?

So far this has been pretty simple. We let the kids use their previous years’ school backpacks, instead of worrying over a good set of luggage for each of them. Then mom and dad’s clothes, or just dad’s clothes when he takes the kids on his own (no offense to the kiddie brood, but I loooooove those weekends – and they need the one on one dad time, too) – anyway, our clothes usually get packed together in actual travel luggage.

Now, though, my eleven year old is almost as tall as I am – I exaggerate, but only slightly... she’s over five feet tall and she can wear my shoes! Oldest son is quickly catching up – he’s already in a boys’ ten... I know this doesn’t seem like much, but the bigger the size, the less you can fit in a backpack... With the economy the way it is, luggage isn’t the first priority... but it’s on the list there... then again, with the economy the way it is, maybe now’s a good time to get a deal.

How about you guys? Has your family’s changing dynamic and ages caused you to think about purchases that you hadn’t considered before? What are some of yours?


Erica Orloff said...

Hi Merry . . .

My kids are full-grown adult off at college, 13, 11, and . . . 3.

My oldest son really needs to make his room a man cave. We bought new queen-size beds for two bedrooms this year. Bye-bye bunks (sold on craigslist). And now (the room is big) he could use a futon couch or something. Suddenly, you start looking at their rooms like adult spaces.

Mary Witzl said...

Life was simple back when it was bedding, books, and the odd toy. Now it's bags and coats and body spray and accessories and magazines and shoes and make-up -- and we ask them to buy all that for themselves. Our suitcases were purchased at Oxfam, I'm afraid; we had to economize somewhere.

Mary Witzl said...

And my kids have long since outgrown my shoes -- thank God! No longer do I go to find my only decent pumps and find that someone's used them to visit the muddy part of the garden.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Erica,

Well, if we're still in this house, mine will be out of luck on the adult decor... the bedrooms are too small to accomidate couches, and the boys have to share a room... they'll have to wait for college (as I wipe the sweat from my brow)

Hi Mary,

My daughter is just starting to really get into the clothes... she asked for a 'real' purse for Christmas and has favorite stores now... oy... the clothes there cost more than mine do, and she outgrows them within a year.

I'm hoping the boys will be less expensive that way. As far as the shoes - she's 11 and wearing an 8-1/2!!! If they get much bigger, she'll be sasquatch! I was only an 8 until after I had two of my three kids... now I'm a nine, but I swear they grew in pregnancy.

Maybe it's like puppies - big feet means she'll be really tall.

Shelly said...

When I bring my nephews to China, we usually pack all of our clothes in one bag (of course, I keep some at my flat here for myself, so the clothes we carry are mostly theirs), and they each carry a backpack with one change of clothes and all their "stuff." The good part is that, as their clothes get bigger, the "stuff" they can't live without gets smaller. This last year, we didn't have to bring a whole box of army men, countless toy cars, and every book in the house. Instead, we had just enough army men to fit into the little pockets on the side of the bags, a couple of cars each, and one chapter book each, with a few shorter books. That worked out much better.

Before you know it, the "stuff" will be limited to an iPod (so they can't hear me nag?), but the clothes will take up all the leftover space anyway.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Shelly,

Well, that's true, too. The older they get the less toy stuff they have. My daughter doesn't care about barbies or any of that anymore... though she likes science stuff - which means she has a microscope and various sets for experiments... and she likes art and craft stuff, so she has bags of journal stuff and a closet full of paints and crapola... not to mention all of the sewing and knitting stuff in her closet.

Maybe you get luckier if they only like electronics :-)